Concert Review: Sycamore Four at Lovin' Cup, Sharon Jones listening party at Record Archive

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Ventured out in the cold in search of hot rock 'n' roll Friday night with the old lady and found what we were looking for at Lovin' Cup. Not even a year old, Sycamore Four was there putting four on the floor when we arrived. Though a little less breakneck than some of the members' previous outings -- Flour City Knuckleheads, The Spaces, The Enemy Ace -- this band still rocked raw and loose with plenty of tongue still in cheek and a ballsy bravado. That included dangerous stabs at Huey Lewis and Bob Seger, which I thought I could do without...until I caught myself driving home humming "Katmandu."

The wonderful thing about discussing, arguing , or evaluating music is that everyone is right. The Record Archive turned into a brilliant forum for this debate on Sunday as it presented a listening party for the highly anticipated new Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings album "Give the People What They Want." The album was put on hold due to Jones' bout with cancer. But Jones is back and the album (due to land January 14) is absolutely brilliant. I listened to it front to back at least four times with a handful of music aficionados who dug the band's reserve as Jones wailed on top of the exquisite soul music. We debated the finer points and brought our own libraries into it, and even collectively gave Ike Turner a posthumous pardon. And you know what? We were all right, alright.

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